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IITA Insights Newsletter - August 16, 2017
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Greetings!

You can, in Portland!

No matter what it is you’d like to be, do, eat or drink — even if you’ve never tried it before — You Can, in Portland. When you attend IITA’s Summit there February 4-7.

Portland is one of my favorite cities in the American West. A foodie city. A hipster’s dream spot. And all surrounded by some of Mother Nature’s greatest creations — Mt Hood, Crater Lake and the great Oregon Coast.

Summit registration will be opening in a few weeks so get ready to start your planning for Portland. (See related article below.) The Summit Committee is working hard on education, Marketplace and networking opportunities. And Travel Portland is preparing to showcase its best visitor experiences through sightseeing, evening and dine-around events and a special post-fam for inbound operators.

Mark your calendars to be in Portland February 4-7 and watch for registration information coming soon!
  
-Gary Schluter, Chairman
 Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours

National Travel and Tourism Office Releases 2016 Data

National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) has just posted the 2016 Top States, Cities, and Census Regions Visited by Overseas Travelers and selected country profiles to the website on the Inbound Travel to the U.S. page. 

NTTO's is working towards posting the 24 country profiles, 11 regional profiles, 5 sector profiles for 2016 and selected other reports on a rolling delivery schedule beginning with the top 10 overseas country profiles, Mexico air travelers and a few others.

IITA will be hosting a webinar to review the statistics in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned for more information. 

August 27-29, 2017
Destinations Group Travel Show and New York FAM Tour
More Information
August 29-31, 2017
La Cita
More Information
October 11-13, 2017
Arival: The In-Destination Event
More Information
2018 IITA Summit
February 4-7, 2018
More Information
2018 IITA Summit Planning Committee Report
 
The Summit Planning Committee is busy making sure this year's Summit is one for the books! Heather Anderson and the Travel Portland team are doing their part to make sure You Can, in Portland.

Connect with a range of 
multicultural communities in Portland. Go DIY, meet the makers and make something yourself! Feel free to Keep it Weird — that’s what the locals do! Be sure to pack your walking shoes, because Portland is a foot-friendly city!

Visit the IITA website for details on the Super Bowl Party, Sightseeing Excursions, Welcome Reception and Awards Dinner. You can also find the schedule of events here. Mark your calendar to attend! Registration will open in September. 


< Click Here to spin the You-can-o-mizer to see everything You can, in Portland.
Are you interested in becoming a Summit Sponsor? Click here to review 2018 IITA Summit Sponsorship Opportunities or contact Toby Bishop to design your custom package today!
Are Visa Policies Changing?
By: Stephen B. Richer, IITA Consultant

Everyone in the travel industry has been following the legal haggling over the Presidential Executive Orders which curtail entry to the United States from six countries--Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan.  That effort to restrict some countries which might be the source of terrorists has gathered most of the attention, as federal courts have first rejected and then approved in a modified way, these orders.
 
But perhaps a more important discussion is whether visitors from other countries have also been targeted in practice, through delays in visa and entry procedures.
 
Here is the anecdotal information about what might be happening.
 
First, are the personnel shortage in the State Department, especially at embassies with no appointed ambassador, causing unanticipated delays in the visa interview process or are the possible delays more attributable to an unstated policy to frustrate the visitation process by reintroducing delays?
 
Secondly, has the rejection rate gone up in lots of countries around the world?  Once again, anecdotal reports from IITA members suggest that countries like India and China are having a more difficult time getting visas.
 
One anecdotal report suggests that there was a significant impact from an inability to get visas on the part of delegates to the 2017 Rotary International convention in Atlanta.  This information has not been verified.
 
Since it is too early to get official reports on visa delays and rejections in 2017, it will be difficult to argue that something along these lines is happening without some facts from which to make the case. Below you will find a link to a survey for our inbound tour operator members to see if there is, in fact, substance to the anecdotal information.
 
Attached to this issue of our newsletter is a survey to see if there is, in fact, substance tied to the anecdotal information.
 
Please complete this survey, so we can in turn offer the information to federal policy makers. A discussion of this is critical moving forward. It is imperative to keep our eye on the ball to see whether unannounced policy shifts and/or staffing issues are curtailing the growth of inbound tourism.  Please help us quantify what is happening.
 

 

IITA Visa Processing Survey
La Cita
 
IITA is looking forward to connecting with our members traveling to St. Petersburg, Florida for La Cita. Please stop by our booth and say hello to Executive Director, Lisa Simon. Also, be sure to send any potential IITA members her way. Lisa would love the opportunity to share information on all of the wonderful work IITA has been doing. 

If you didn't register for La Cita this year mark your calendar noe to attend in 2018. You can pre-register by
emailing Heather

IITA is proud to be an Association Partner with
Arival, the In-Destination event taking place in Las Vegas, October 11-13.
 
Inbound tour operators need to understand this sector of the travel industry. Attendees are day tour operators, activities providers, attractions, and experiences. More and more of your clients are requesting interesting and authentic one-day experiences and Arival introduces you to 100's of suppliers. Do you know how to work with them?
 
DMOs are an important part of this eco-system. The suppliers help to draw travelers to your destination, creating a win/win relationship. DMOs help suppliers (and there is a featured session - "Working with your DMO"). As a DMO, you need to understand this business better. 
 
Arival features amazing speakers, practical workshops, and fantastic networking -- everything you need to get your company more engaged with these suppliers. This is the first event designed specifically for tour operators, activity providers, and in-destination experiences, come and learn how they can impact your business
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